Dear Connor: Month 20

Dear Connor,

Mommy’s a little late with this month’s update, and there’s no good reason apart from just being busy. And tired. During the weekend, Mommy’s been napping when you nap; during the week, Mommy will put you to bed and then play on her phone for an hour before she realizes what she’s doing, then will realize that she’s super tired and just go to bed. Mommy’s trying to be better about getting things done, and better about being good to herself and getting enough rest. There’s a balance there.

But enough about Mommy. Let’s talk about you!

Running in the Back Yard

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Dear Connor: Month 19

Dear Connor,

This month, you’ve turned from our mildly inquisitive, always-happy little dude into a full-on toddler, complete with flailing tantrums and crocodile tears. Part of this could be because we moved to a new house, and part could be because you’ve been sick with a cough and runny nose for literally months now — not to mention that you’re about that age, anyway.

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Dear Connor: Month 18

Dear Connor,

Every month seems like such a sea change. Every month, I write about how much you’ve learned and how much you’ve grown, and every month you change more than the last.

Big things are happening in your life. You’ve been going to daycare (aka “school”) twice a week for about a month now, and you love it! In fact, you get very upset on the mornings when you realize that Mommy’s taking you back upstairs and not bye-bye. You actually nap at daycare now — probably in part because you no longer have an ear infection from the bug you picked up on your very first day. You’re acclimating well, and learning new things, like “shh” and “nuh-uh” and sitting down quietly to watch TV. We can tell you’re trying to say other new words that you’ve learned, too, but Mommy and Daddy can’t understand what you mean yet.

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Dear Connor: Month 17

You are so not a little baby anymore.

Pajama Grin

Mommy’s been keeping track of the words you say, and you’re up to a few dozen. Your vocabulary has just exploded in the past month, and you’ve been learning literally a new word every day for the past week or so. You say words that we didn’t even know you knew — we didn’t teach them to you on purpose. But some we did, and it’s rewarding to hear you repeat them. (Just make sure not to repeat the words we don’t want you to know…!)

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Dear Connor: Month 16

I’m not even sure where to start! It’s been a busy month: you had your first “real” haircut at a stylist; we had Christmas Eve in Cleveland and Christmas Day at home; you’ve picked up new words; you’ve tried new foods; you’ve started getting new teeth.

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Dear Connor: Month 15

Connor, Age 15 Months

There have been two big themes this month: your vocabulary and your independence.

You’ve started to mimic us more and more when we speak. Mommy still tries to teach you new signs, and the words to go with them, and it’s super cute when you actually pick them up. One day, you wanted a taste of Mommy’s ice cream, so Mommy said, “Please,” and made the sign for it. And you repeated, clear as day: “Peeeeeze!”

So Mommy gave you a bite of ice cream, then did it again: “Please?” And you reached forward and rubbed Mommy’s chest and said, “Peeeeze?”

Ah, well. You’ll figure it out.

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Dear Connor: Month Fourteen

Dear Connor,

Nothing too crazy happened this month, but it’s a slow and steady learning curve for you. You’re learning new words, like “Mei” (our kitty’s name), and “meow,” and “ear” (although that comes out sounding like “eye”). You still say “bye” a lot, and wave, but you don’t say “hi” so much anymore. You sign “milk” now, but that’s your only new sign lately. (Edit: You also sign “diaper” now, and make some sounds along with it that sound like “dah-bah.” Probably only Mommy and Daddy would know what you’re saying, though, as with a lot of words that you’re trying out. You also know where your pee-pee is, and call it your “pay-pay.”) You understand many more words than you can articulate or sign: body parts like nose and teeth and mustache; different foods like applesauce, melts, and yogurt; and games like “Mommy’s gonna get you!” and “Gone, gone. Connor’s gone. Where’s Connor?”

Speaking of Gone-Gone, you have taken Peek-a-boo to a whole new level. You’ll run around with your crocheted baby blanket on your head — the one that Grammy’s friend Kay made for you before you were born — until you decide to reveal yourself and pull the blankie off. We have you use that blankie instead of one of your old hospital blankies because you’ll still run around with it on your head, just without the crochet holes, so you’ll actually be running around blind and bonking into furniture, which isn’t so good.

Another new game you like to play is carting Mommy and Daddy’s shoes around. Sometimes we’ll find one of our shoes in your playpen. You also like to push Mommy and Daddy into a new position, wherever we’re sitting — you’ll open and close our legs, or push us over if we’re sitting on the floor, or just move one of our legs or arms back and forth. You’re realizing that you can affect the world around you, and that’s kind of fun to see.

You’re finally getting to a point where you get frustrated when things don’t go your way, or the way you expected them to go. Mommy’s trying to find a happy medium between helping you when you get mad and letting you experience the frustration. Sometimes Mommy will help just a little when you’re not looking, then see if you notice that you don’t need to be mad anymore; either that, or Mommy will use the fine art of distraction to direct your attention elsewhere.

We didn’t go anywhere too exciting this month. Even though Mommy bought you a costume earlier this year, we didn’t actually go anywhere for Halloween; we had an invitation to go pass out candy with Harper and her parents, but you usually get tired so early that we decided to stay home, instead.

Mommy gave you your second-ever haircut this month! We left you in your highchair after dinner, got out the scissors and a damp washcloth, and went to town. It turned out pretty good! Mommy’s learning, too.

Grammy and Grandad sent you a box of Uncle Phil’s old baby clothes from the late 80’s. Some of them fit you quite nicely!

Vintage 80's baby clothes FTW!

Daddy managed to rescue a few of his old baby clothes from your late Grandpa Schnuth’s attic several months back, too. Some of them got eaten by mice, but some of them made it just fine — including Daddy’s old coat from the late 70’s. You look great in it!

Playing Outside on Sunday in the Fall

Your personality is getting more and more pronounced every day. You’re generally a happy guy, unless you’re overtired or your teeth are bothering you (which has been happening a lot lately — you just got your seventh tooth in, and are working on your eighth). You love to interact with people, even total strangers, but you love the one waitress at New Empire — OK, pretty much everybody at New Empire — and Mr. Kim at Korea Na, and the owner of Star of India, and the baristas at Starbucks (although we don’t go inside very often anymore). Like I mentioned earlier, you’re only just starting to get upset when things don’t go your way; you still try so hard to make things go, though, even though you’re mad. You really are a combination of your Mommy and your Daddy, in so many ways.

We love you so much. Keep being awesome.

Dear Connor: Month Thirteen

Dear Connor,

I wasn’t sure if I would keep writing these monthly notes to you after you turned one, but Mommy’s worried that she’ll just let Life pass us by and forget to remember all the little things you do. Mommy and Daddy have a baby book for you, but sometimes we forget to write important things in it right when they happen, and Mommy has to go back to what she wrote here or other places on the Internet to remember exactly what happened when.

So, here we are. You’re 13 months old, and you’re always on the go!

Joy In Motion

You’re walking a lot more steadily than you were a month ago, when you’d just managed to get your feet under you. Mommy and Daddy bought you your first pair of shoes at Target, and you’re starting to get the hang of walking in those, too.

Lots of things have changed with your routines this month, but none of them seem to be bothering you much. You’re eating more solid food, and drinking whole milk instead of formula, per your pediatrician. Daddy started giving you solid snacks during the day instead of just bottles, and he started putting you down to nap in your crib instead of in your swing. (Not only was the motor broken, but you just didn’t fit anymore. It was almost comical.)

Naptime!

Mommy also modified your bedtime routine so that we don’t give you a bath every night; this way, the next time a babysitter gets to put you to bed, you won’t be thrown off if there isn’t a bathtime. Instead, we jump straight to brushing your teeth, then change your diaper and give you a massage with lavender baby oil, then get your jammies on, then book, then bottle, then bed.

You don’t say very many words — “Uh-oh” is the main one (when you drop something, which happens a lot), with the occasional “hi” and “bye” — but you do a good amount of signing. You’ll sign “more” a lot of the time (although I think you mean “want” sometimes), and you clap for “all done,” and you’ve started signing “eat” when you’re hungry. You also like to wave hello and good-bye, although sometimes you don’t get the timing quite right on those. You also wave bye-bye for bedtime — to say good-night to Daddy or Mei Kitty. Mommy showed you the sign for “milk” and some other foods, but you haven’t picked up on those yet. Mommy’s trying to think of other signs she should introduce to you (and Daddy), like “tired” (although you’re like Mommy and don’t like to admit when you’re sleepy).

Since you’re such a big boy now, you’re sitting in the big-boy car seat that Uncle Pete and Aunt Dee bought for you last year. We also bought a big-boy car seat for the other car, and Daddy had a much easier time installing that one than the first.

Infant Seat to Convertible Seat

And since you’re not in the infant carrier anymore, we bought you a new stroller, since the old stroller was only really handy since the baby carrier snapped into the top of it. It was really large and bulky and hard to get in the trunk of the car, but the new one is much lighter and smaller.

New Stroller!

Starbucks trips have gotten interesting since we started bringing you in without your infant carrier. You want to run around and get into everything, like the curious little boy you are. So, Mommy and Daddy have been doing a lot of drive-thru Starbucks lately, and your fan club at our favorite location hasn’t been getting to see you quite as often.

We’ve taken you other places, though! Before we got your new stroller, we took you to the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green to meet Marlee and her parents, Eric and Jessica. We didn’t get any pictures, but you played with Marlee at Grounds For Thought, and had a great time.

We also took you to the International Festival at the mosque in Perrysburg. Mommy and Daddy enjoyed some Lebanese food and Arabic coffee while you hung out in your stroller and checked out all the people.

Connor at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo

You’re getting to be such a big boy, but you still have quite a ways to go. Soon, though, you’ll have more words, and you’ll be able to do more things for yourself. It would be so easy to wish away these toddler days and look forward to the time when you’ll be even more interactive than you are now — but I know I would regret it. So, for now, Mommy’s trying to put down the smartphone and be actively present when she has special time alone with you.

Who’s my little squigglebug?

Smile

Dear Connor: Month Eleven

You’re almost a year old! Not a little baby anymore, but not quite a toddler yet.

Every new month is full of new milestones, and this month was no exception. You really got the hang of pulling yourself up onto the furniture, and you became quite the speedy crawler, so Mommy and Daddy bought baby gates to keep you corralled in the living room.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
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